If you have ever used lip gloss you might have come across the rumor that lip gloss is made out of whale sperm or at least has it included.
Firstly, we should say that this is totally not true. Lip gloss is not made out of whale sperm. Usually, lip gloss uses a mixture of ingredients including things like oils, waxes and even pigments. Though whale sperm is not included. Though there is a hint of truth to the rumor that we will talk about in more detail below.
What is Lip Gloss Made Of?
Lip gloss never is made from whale sperm. Instead, it usually has some combination of oils, waxes, and pigments. Of course, this mixture of ingredients combines to create a shiny and glossy effect on the lips. This helps keep the lips not only looking great but also hydrated and moisturized better. Some lip glosses will have added ingredients like vitamins, and flavorings for extra benefits.
Now that we have covered that let’s address the rumor of lip gloss having whale sperm in the mixture. This rumor originally came from a substance that is found in the intestines of whales which is called spermaceti. If you don’t know spermaceti is a waxy kind of ingredient that has been used for candles and cosmetics including lip balm in the past. Though it hasn’t been used for decades.
The reason why spermaceti was phased out was mainly due to the ethics of obtaining such a substance. Also there where concerns with the availability of such ingredients in the long run.
When spermaceti was more commonly used it was a limited kind of ingredient usually limited to only luxury and higher end products. Part of the reason for this was because it was much harder to obtain the ingredient, which made such products much more expensive.
Keep in mind that spermaceti that was used in those cosmetics was never whale sperm. Spermaceti was extracted from the head of the whale not from its reproductive organs. People likely got confused due to the name starting with sperm, though in fact it has nothing to do with sperm at all!
Another part of this confusion could be because some people assumed that it was whale sperm simply from the name and didn’t consider the ethical reasons either. As there are other animal derived products that are commonly used such as beeswax or carmine.
Right now it’s especially important for products to be ethically obtained and many people only want to use vegan products that do not require any assistance or ingredients from animals. People understandably want to respect animals and therefore are more and more commonly choosing products that do not require these kinds of ingredients from animals. Therefore, ethically and the demand for these kinds of products has slowly been dropping over time as people switch to other options.
Important Related Questions
Is Whale Sperm Used in Cosmetics?
No whale sperm is not used in cosmetics now. There is some confusion due to an ingredient from whales that has been used in cosmetics in the past called spermaceti. This ingredient though is not sperm at all.
What is Whale Sperm Used For?
Whale sperm is not commonly used in any commercial products. There is a product called spermaceti that has been used in cosmetics in the past. Though this is not whaling sperm but is instead extracted from the whale’s head and in fact has nothing to do with sperm at all.
What Products Have Whale in Them?
Nowadays whale is almost never included in any products mainly because it is illegal in many countries due to animal welfare and sustainability too. Though in the past whale was used in a handful of products.
For example, a substance from whales called ambergris which comes from a whale’s digestive system. It was used for perfumes due to its musky smell. Japan has also used whale bile in some of their traditional medicine. Some cultures such as Inuit before have even used whale meat as a traditional food.
Which Animal Fat is Used in Lipstick?
In the past animal fats where more commonly used in lipstick though now that is not usually the case. Instead, now most cosmetics like lipstick are made from plant-based ingredients or even synthetic ingredients.
Before when animal-based products where used more commonly ingredients like lanolin where used which is something that comes from sheep’s wool. Also beeswax which comes from bees. These ingredients where used because of their smooth and creamy texture that adhered well to the lips. Though now it’s much more common for ingredients like jojoba oil to be included which is derived from plants instead of animals.